New layers won't use nesting buckets, help?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by padavali, Aug 26, 2013.

  1. padavali

    padavali Out Of The Brooder

    36
    0
    32
    Apr 3, 2013
    We are new to chickens, just started back in April/May and we have one hen that started laying her eggs on Friday :) I have the big 5 gallon (I think) painter-like buckets on their side, with a board over the front bottom part to keep the hay inside, fake eggs also inside with the hay. They are about 1.5-2 feet off the floor. A hen has yet to even set foot in a bucket, let alone lay an egg in there. They are either being laid on the floor of the coop or up on the roost 'shelf' that is under the roost bar.
    How can I get the hens to even just go into the nesting buckets and then to use them. They have been built for about 2-3 weeks and they are just ignored.

    Too far off the ground?
    Too small?
     
  2. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

    36,684
    4,699
    566
    Feb 18, 2011
    Ohio
    Is there something in front of the buckets for the chickens to easily stand on and inspect the nests before they go in them? They are going to want to take a look at what they are jumping into if they are not familiar with it. The easiest way is probably lowering them closer to the floor at least for now, and make sure there is a perch, board or something in front of them for the hens to get on. If they are regular 5 gal buckets they should be big enough for your average standard breed. If they have just started laying it is not unusual for them to drop eggs all over the place, they don't really know what is happening yet or what they are supposed to do. Sometimes they will spend an hour in the nest, then come out and drop the egg on the floor five minutes later.
     
  3. ChirpyChicks1

    ChirpyChicks1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,712
    83
    158
    Jul 22, 2013
    I'm having a hard time imagining what the set up looks like, I'd love to see a picture if you can upload one. Is there a reason why they are off the ground? Will they move around when a hen flies into or out of a bucket? I'd just put them on the floor.
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2013

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by